Trouble, however, continued for Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy as the Congress was relegated to the fourth position -- after TDP, YSRC and independents -- in his native Chittoor district.
About 88 per cent polling has been reported in 6,971 gram panchayats under 29 revenue divisions where election was conducted today. Third phase polling will be held on July 31.
Barring some stray incidents, polling passed off peacefully, sources in the State Election Commission said.
The election was countermanded at five gram panchayats in the agency area of Visakhapatnam district after suspected activists of the CPI (Maoist) snatched away the nomination papers, State Election Commissioner P Ramakanth Reddy said.
Polling there would be held on August 13 according to the revised schedule.
Congress established lead in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, East Godavari, Kurnool, Mahbubnagar, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Nalgonda, Medak and Warangal districts.
The TDP-backed candidates were leading in Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Chittoor, Anantapur, Ranga Reddy and Khammam districts when reports last came in.
YSR Congress-supported candidates were leading in SPS Nellore and Kadapa districts while Telangana Rashtra Samiti had to be content with only second or third position in the entire Telangana region.
Even in Warangal and Medak districts, where it gained an upper hand in the first phase, the TRS has now been edged out by the Congress.
A clear picture of the results will be available only tomorrow after the counting process is over.