Sofia Firdous Becomes First Woman ‘Muslim MLA’ From Congress

International Desk

Published: 09 Jun 2024, 05:01 pm

Congress MLA Sofia Firdous. Photo: Collected

Congress MLA Sofia Firdous. Photo: Collected

Congress leader Sofia Firdous recently became the first Muslim woman to win an assembly election in Odisha. Sofia Firdous, who is set to become Odisha's first Muslim woman legislator, has said that she keeps her identity as an Odia, Indian, and a woman, ahead of that as a “Muslim MLA.”

 “I am an Odia, Indian, and a woman first. Throughout my career and professional life in real estate, I have worked hard for women's empowerment and I will continue to do so in politics too. Being a Muslim politician is something I have never given a thought to,” the Congress member, 32, told NDTV.

Talking about how she ended up contesting what was her maiden election, Firdous recalled how she had only one month to prepare. Her father and senior Congress leader Mohammed Moqium, who held the Barabati-Cuttack assembly seat, was disqualified after he was convicted in a loan fraud case, a verdict upheld by the Odisha High Court in April.

The Congress party then decided to field the daughter in place of the father.

“I am not a politician. When my father was unable to contest, a large gathering of 400-500 supporters convened at our residence. Recognising the hard work of my father and the solid base he had established in Cuttack, they (supporters) unanimously endorsed me to step into the fray,” she said.

“However, my major fear was that people knew my father well. He lost in 2014 and then emerged victorious in 2019. So why will people vote for me and trust me so quickly? The campaigning started from 6 am till 2 pm in sweltering heat. It was then resumed from 5 pm till 9 pm. Something that really worked for me I think was the good work of my father,” she added.

Sofia Firdous defeated BJP's Purna Chandra Mahapatra by a margin of 8001 votes.

The Congress, however, came a distant third to the BJP and BJD, respectively, winning only 14 seats in the 147-member assembly. The BJP won 78 seats and ousted the BJD, which bagged 51 seats, and lost power after 24 years._HT

Editor & Publisher: Eliash Uddin Palash

Address: 10/22 Iqbal Road, Block A, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207

Design & Developed By Root Soft Bangladesh