NCP president Sharad Pawar has dismissed speculation that his party is likely to merge with the Congress. Speaking at a party meeting in Mumbai, Mr Pawar said the NCP has its own identity and it will maintain it. 

The meeting was held yesterday to discuss the Lok Sabha results and review preparations for the Maharashtra Assembly polls. 

The speculation about a possible merger had begun after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi met Mr Pawar in Delhi after the Lok Sabha results. 

Senior NCP leader Ganesh Naik told reporters that a constituency-wise review was conducted in the party meeting. He said, many NCP candidates spoke about how the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Agadhi (VBA) ate into their votes. 

Mr Naik said, there was no discussion on the inclusion of Raj Thackeray's MNS in the alliance for Maharashtra assembly polls.