The constitutional crisis in the Punjab has deepened further as the provincial assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi Tuesday refused to assume the charge of acting governor. After removing Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema, the federal government notified Pervaiz Elahi as the acting governor until PML-N candidate Baligh-ur-Rehman took oath. The Punjab Assembly staff Tuesday visited the residence of Pervaiz Elahi to seek his signatures on the summary. However, the PML-Q spokesperson said the staff was sent back. He said, “Who will go to the Governor House when the police are deployed there?” In case Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi assumes the charge of governor, then Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari will automatically become the speaker. If this happens, Mazari, who had defected from PTI and conducted the chief minister’s election, will administer the oath to Hamza Shehbaz’s cabinet members, which has so far not happened due to legal impediments triggered by the governor and the speaker, says a news report. According to legal experts, the speaker cannot refuse to become acting governor, as under the constitution, the post of governor cannot remain vacant. Meanwhile, Federal Law Minister Nazir Tarar said there was no constitutional crisis in Punjab and the appointment of governor was the prerogative of the prime minister. On the other hand, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was seen busy performing his official duties in the Punjab Assembly Secretariat and was consulting his colleagues on the current situation. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led federal government denotified Omar Sarfraz as governor in a late-night move. According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Division, Omar Sarfraz has been removed from his office and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi would be the acting governor. Elahi fears that he might end up losing his post as the speaker altogether if he takes up the acting governor’s role. The point of contention in this matter is the no-confidence motion pending against Elahi in the assembly. The motion was submitted by the Pakistan Muslim League-N members on April 8. In Elahi’s absence, the post of Punjab Assembly Speaker would go to Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari. As speaker, Mazari will have the power to summon the assembly’s session. Elahi is apprehensive that Mazari could summon the session and put the no-confidence motion to vote. The incumbent government – with support of members from Aleem Khan and Jehangir Tarin groups – has the numbers to pass the motion. He was likely to file an application with the Lahore High Court against the federal government’s action.