23/06/2017 10:36 AM IST | Updated 23/06/2017 10:37 AM IST

Why A Manipuri Sociologist Is Hoping To Become India's Next President

Ibochouba Singh Konthoujam is in the race!

Dennis K. Johnson via Getty Images
The Rashtrapati Bhavan, residence of the President of India, New Delhi, India.

While the Opposition and the government are busy propping up their own candidates for the post of India's next President after Pranab Mukherjee's term ends, a sociologist from Manipur is busy garnering support from politicians to contest for India's top post.

Forty-two-year-old Ibochouba Singh Konthoujam is a sociology post graduate with a doctoral degree. What prompted him to think that he even had a chance against Ram Nath Kovind, the official NDA candidate, and Meira Kumar, the choice of the Opposition?

"The reason I am looking forward to contesting the election is that I want to make India corruption-free. I can do that only when I am holding a post at the highest level," Konthoujam was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express.

Konthoujam has a plan. On Tuesday he collected the nomination form from Parliament.

"Getting the signatures of at least 100 people is the first hurdle. After that, my friends and I will look to garner the support of 100 MPs and MLAs to be able to contest the election," he told the paper, although he is unsure of the numbers he can stack up yet. He will start campaigning for his candidature from today and hopes he will get the support he needs.

He hails from Ningthoukhong, in Manipur's Bishnupur district, and heads an NGO called D-Cacus Education Centre that runs a school which provides free education for some 240 students.

He plans to file the nomination paper on 28 June, according to the Telegraph, to which he said he was thinking of "contesting for the post of President for some time".

"I am not a politician. I grew up in a poor family and I wish to work for the poor and neglected," the paper quoted him as saying.