Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao (4 July 1947 – 26 December 1988) was a prominent Indian politician hailing from Andhra Pradesh. He served as the representative of the Vijayawada East assembly constituency, holding a seat in the Indian National Congress.
Ranga was part of a politically active family, with his elder brother, Vangaveeti Radha Krishna Rao Sr., involved in the political sphere as well. Radha Krishna Rao Sr. had close ties with Chalasani Venkata Rathnam, the secretary of the Communist Party of India in Vijayawada. However, tensions soon emerged between Venkata Rathnam and Radha Krishna Rao Sr. as they both sought control over the lucrative transport business in Vijayawada, which was primarily dominated by Datti Kanaka Rao, a staunch follower of Chalasani Venkata Rathnam.
In the year 1972, Kanaka Rao and Venkata Rathnam met tragic ends, allegedly at the hands of Radha Krishna Rao Sr.’s supporters. These events triggered a cycle of retaliation from a rival faction, ultimately resulting in the assassination of Vangaveeti Radha. Following the demise of Radha Krishna Rao Sr., his brother Mohana Ranga stepped up to assume leadership of the United Independent Organization, garnering support from student union leaders Devineni Chandrasekhar (known as Gandhi) and Devineni Rajasekhar (known as Nehru).
The power struggle between the politically influential Mohana Ranga and the Devineni family eventually led to the fragmentation of the United Independent Organization. It also contributed to a series of alleged targeted killings, including the murders of brothers Devineni Chandrasekhar (Gandhi) in 1979 and Devineni Murali in 1988.
Subsequently, while Ranga was staging an indefinite fast to advocate for the distribution of land pattas to residents of Giripuram, a shocking incident unfolded. A group of men, purportedly led by Devineni Rajasekhar (Nehru), launched a brutal attack on Mohana Ranga’s camp in the early hours of 26 December 1988. Tragically, they assassinated Ranga, and notably, his two assigned bodyguards did not intervene to protect him.
The assassination of Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao sparked widespread outrage and led to large-scale riots in the erstwhile Krishna, Guntur, and Godavari districts. The violence and upheaval that followed underscored the deep-rooted political and personal rivalries in the region, casting a shadow over the political landscape of Andhra Pradesh.