Trends available till late in the night indicated that the ruling Congress and principal Opposition TDP were neck and neck after the first phase of polling today for Gram Panchayats in the state.
Both Congress and TDP were leading in eight districts each, while YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) was ahead in three.
Despite the so-called "Telangana sentiment", the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) could manage a lead in only two out of the nine districts in the region.
In what could be a major setback for Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Congress has been relegated to third position in his native Chittoor, which also happens to be TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu's home district.
TDP has secured a clear lead in Chittoor while YSRCP is at second position, as per the trends available.
In Kadapa, native district of YSR Congress President YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the party managed the top position leaving the second slot to Congress.
Visakhapatnam and East Godavari are the two other districts where YSRCP is in a leading position.
The saving grace for Congress is its lead in state unit president Botsa Satyanarayana's native Vizianagaram district where YSRCP is in second place.
Elections to 5,792 Gram Panchayats, spread over 22 districts, were held this morning and counting of votes was taken up in the afternoon.
Although the elections were held on an apolitical basis, the main political parties extended support to candidates of their choice and are now taking credit for victory.
As per information available till late night, TDP-backed candidates won in about 1,600 Gram Panchayats while those supported by Congress won in 1,450. YSRCP supporters bagged 1,016 Panchayats while TRS got 390.
Left parties-backed nominees won in about 50 Panchayats. Results from hundreds of other village bodies are still awaited.
Belying expectations, TDP did well in some of the Telangana districts. It emerged on top in Ranga Reddy and Adilabad districts and remained second in Nizamabad and Mahbubnagar.
Voting in several Panchayats was put off due to incessant rainfall. Polling for the second and third phases is scheduled for July 27 and 31.