Proud Odia, Proud Indian and Daughter of Cuttack First, Says Odisha’s First Muslim Woman MLA Sofia Firdaus | Exclusive

32-year-old Sofia Firdaus, a civil engineer with an IIM degree, made history by becoming the first Muslim woman to enter the Odisha Assembly. She prefers to be known as a proud Odia and Indian first, downplaying her Muslim identity. Following in her father’s footsteps, she won the Cuttack Barabati constituency in her debut election. Firdous plans to focus on fulfilling the aspirations of her constituency by continuing the development work started by her father. She aims to improve education, skilling, and sports facilities in Cuttack while also working towards making the city more sustainable. Despite facing competition from the BJD and BJP candidates, Firdous’s connection to the people and her commitment to their needs helped her win the election. She sees her future in politics as dependent on gaining the confidence of her constituents first. Firdous admires Priyanka Gandhi’s positive approach in politics and looks up to former Odisha CM Nandini Satpathy. She emphasizes the importance of unity and brotherhood in Cuttack, where she grew up in a diverse and inclusive environment. Despite anticipating challenges and cynicism in politics, Firdous remains positive and determined to work for the betterment of her constituency. She had just one month for campaigning before the election, but managed to connect with the people and gain their acceptance in a short period of time.


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