Mukhtar Ansari is an Indian criminal-politician from Maunath Bhanjan or Mau in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Most recently he won the Mau seat in the Uttar Pradesh Elections, 2007 as an Independent, while in prison on charges of murdering rival BJP Member of the Legislative Assembly Krishnand Rai. He is one among many such criminal-politicians in Uttar Pradesh. Mukhtar was initially a member of the Makhanu Singh gang, which clashed with Sahib Singh's gang over Ghazipur's lucrative contract work mafia, estimated at more than Rs.100 crores a year. Eventually, Makhanu Singh killed Sahib Singh, resulting in brutal reprisals. In October 1996, when Mukhtar Ansari had pending charges in criminal cases from murder, extortion, kidnapping, etc., he was inducted into politics by Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party. Subsequently, the Bihar Police obtained a confession from a member of his gang that Ansari was behind the kidnapping and murder of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad treasurer, Nand Lal Rungta, in January 2002. However, the chief minister, Mayawati, immediately had the DIG of police transferred for recording this confession. Mukhtar Ansari's main mafia activity is in coal mining, railway construction and scrap disposal, Public Works construction, and the illicit liquor business. The local contract work mafia business, known as thekedari, was taken over from ganglord Tata Birender Singh when he was killed by Brajesh Singh. In 2001 Brajesh Singh ambushed Ansari's convoy on the Mau-Lucknow highway. In the shootout that followed, Mukhtar Ansari lost three of his key men and Brajesh Singh was critically injured and declared dead soon after. Mukhtar Ansari was 'crowned' the undisputed king of eastern U.P. (Purvanchal). However, a year later Brajesh Singh was spotted in the Mau-Ghazipur area and the feud allegedly still continues.Brajesh singh was recently arrested on 24 Jan 2008 at Bhubaneswar, Orissa , where he was living under a different identity as a builder and had been running a real estate business in the city.