Meet Sofia Firdous, Odisha’s first-ever woman Muslim MLA

News Network
June 8, 2024

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Sofia Firdous, the Congress MLA from the Barabati-Cuttack seat in Odisha, has got her name registered in history books. She is the first-ever Muslim woman legislator to have been elected to the Odisha Assembly.  Ms Firdous defeated BJP's Purna Chandra Mahapatra by a margin of 8,001 votes.

Who is Sofia Firdous?

Sofia Firdous, 32, comes from a political family. She is the daughter of Mohammed Moquim, a senior Congress leader. The party replaced Mr Moquim with Ms Firdous in the 2024 Odisha Assembly elections, who emerged victorious. 

Ms Firdous holds a Civil Engineering degree from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology. She also completed an Executive General Management Program from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) in 2022.

In 2023, Ms Firdous was elected as the president of the Bhubaneswar chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI). She also serves as the East Zone Coordinator for the CREDAI women's wing.

She is the Co-Chair of the Bhubaneswar Chapter of the CII - Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and a core member of INWEC India. She is married to entrepreneur Sheikh Meraj Ul Haque. 

She follows in the footsteps of Nandini Satpathy, Odisha's first woman chief minister, who represented the same constituency in 1972. 

In the 2024 Odisha Assembly elections, the BJP secured a majority, winning 78 of the 147 seats, ending Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Biju Janata Dal's (BJD) 24-year rule in the state.

In the Lok Sabha elections, too, the BJP claimed victory in 20 of the 21 seats in the state, eight more than their tally of 12 in the 2019 polls. The remaining seat went to Congress, while the BJD did not win a single seat.

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News Network
June 4,2024

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Bengaluru: JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday won the Mandya seat in Karnataka with a margin of 2,84,620 votes.

The former Chief Minister defeated Venkataramane Gowda (also known as Star Chandru) of the Congress.

According to the Election Commission, Kumaraswamy secured 8,51,881 votes, while Gowda got 5,67,261.

JD(S) fought the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with BJP in the State.

The 64-year-old son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda has made no secret of his desire to become Agriculture Minister, if the Modi government comes back to power.

Kumaraswamy, who is also the state JD(S) President, is a five time MLA, and currently represents Channapatna Assembly seat.

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News Network
June 9,2024

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath today along with 72 ministers of the new coalition government. 30 of them are Cabinet Ministers, 5 independent charge, and 36 Ministers of State. The portfolios will be announced later.

PM Modi, 73, will head a coalition government in his third term, or Modi 3.0, for the first time since he became Prime Minister in 2014 following a huge "Brand Modi" victory after 10 years of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule.

In keeping with 'coalition dharma', the new Council of Ministers will be 72-strong and comprise 11 ministers belonging to NDA partners. The Council of Ministers will have a broad representation of social groups, including 27 Other Backward Classes (OBC), 10 Scheduled Castes (SC), 5 Scheduled Tribes (ST), and 5 minorities. A record 18 senior Ministers will be heading major ministries.

The oath ceremony is being held at the lawns of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with the weather office forecasting a maximum temperature of 42 degree Celsius in the national capital.

President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath to PM Modi. Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah took oath after PM Modi. Nitin Gadkari was the fourth leader to be administered the oath of office. JP Nadda, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Nirmala Sitharaman followed.

Leaders from India's neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean Region including Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended the event.

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News Network
June 13,2024

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New Delhi: As he embarks on a visit to Italy to attend an Outreach session at the G7 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said its focus would be on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean.

Modi said this in a departure statement before leaving for the European nation in his first foreign trip after becoming prime minister for a third term.

The prime minister said issues crucial for the Global South will also be deliberated upon at the Outreach session.

The G7 summit, to be held in the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Italy's Apulia region from June 13 to 15, is expected to be dominated by the raging war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza.

"At the invitation of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, I am travelling to Apulia region in Italy to participate in the G7 Outreach summit on June 14," Modi said.

The prime minister said he was glad that his first visit in the third consecutive term is to Italy for the G-7 Summit.

"During the discussions at the Outreach session, the focus will be on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean," Modi said.

"It will be an opportunity to bring greater synergy between the outcomes of the G20 Summit held under India's Presidency and the forthcoming G7 Summit, and deliberate on issues which are crucial for the Global South," he said.

Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Meloni.

"Prime Minister Meloni's two visits to India last year were instrumental in infusing momentum and depth in our bilateral agenda," he said.

"We remain committed to consolidating the India-Italy strategic partnership, and bolstering cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and the Mediterranean regions," he said.

The prime minister is likely to hold a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit. "I am also looking forward to meeting other leaders participating in the Summit," he said.

The G7 comprises the US, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Japan.

Italy is holding the current presidency of the G7 (Group of Seven) and is hosting the summit in that capacity.

A key focus of the Italian presidency has been to defend the rules-based international system.

According to Italy, Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine has undermined its principles and triggered growing instability, with multiple crises unfolding worldwide. The G7 will give equal importance to the conflict in the Middle East, with its consequences for the global agenda, it says.

The bloc expanded into the G8 between 1997 and 2013, with the inclusion of Russia. However, Russia's participation was suspended in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea.

In line with the grouping's tradition, representatives of a number of countries and international organisations are invited to the summit by the host nation that holds the chair.

Besides India, Italy has invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the summit. Though the European Union is not a member of the G7, it attends the annual summit.

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