LAHORE - From the Opposition’s side, it was Awais Leghari’s turn to speak his mind on the provincial budget yesterday.

An experienced politician from DG Khan, Leghari is known for his flowery speech on the Assembly floor.

He has been MNA and Federal Minister during last term of the PML-N. As he took the floor, Mr Leghari questioned the competence of the PTI Government, which, according to him, had failed on all fronts. He had a long list of government’s failings to mention in his speech.

As he was winding up his speech, Leghari gave an amusing twist to his account of government’s incompetence.

While he talked about one such example, the House saw Speaker’s face lit up with a broad smile which lasted for quite some time. Parvez Elahi had to struggle hard to respond to Leghari’s assertion which was certainly music to his ears.

“Mr Speaker! One of their major incompetence is evident in their wrong choice of the Chief Minister. They have selected such an experienced politician and an ex-Chief Minister as the Assembly Speaker”. It had the implied meanings that PTI should have selected Parvez Elahi as the Punjab Chief Minister instead of Usman Buzdar.

With an inward desire to become the Chief Minister of the biggest province for the second time, it was certainly a moment of joy for Parvez Elahi. Also, PML-N legislator’s commendation of the Speaker was an indirect message for him that he was acceptable to the PML-N if he ever thought of making the right move to become the Chief Minister.

While the Speaker enjoyed Leghari’s statement, it was quite embarrassing for the Treasury members. They started shouting at the PML-N legislator for his contemptuous remarks about their Chief Minister. Parvez Elahi, however, managed to cool them down.

“Look! It will not have any impact on the respect and nobility of Chief Minister Buzdar.He is our elected Chief Minister”.

Speaker also asked Awais Leghari to take back his words about the Chief Minister.

He complied but the damage had been done.

Speaker then gave the floor to former Provincial Minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan who went extra miles in praise of the Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

“Sardar Usman Buzdar is the pride of Punjab”, he said brushing aside all the criticism on the Chief Minister.

He also lauded the Prime Minister for his right selection for the highest office in Punjab.

Tuesday’s general discussion on the provincial budget was revealing in the sense that Parvez Elahi announced on the Assembly floor that his party will support the PTI during passage of the provincial budget.

He stated this in response to Awais Leghari’s suggestion that PML-Q should not let the PTI government pass the budget unless it fulfilled its promise of making a separate province for South Punjab.

“You have the key, Mr Speaker, not to let the PTI pass this budget”, Leghari told the Chair.

“Your dream [of obstructing the budget] will never materialize”, said the Speaker with a broad smile on his face.

Earlier, in his interaction with the journalists, Parvez Elahi made it clear that his party would extend all out support to the PTI to pass the budget by the Assembly.

“Usman Buzdar is our Chief Minister. He is a man of few words, but he is a gentleman. We are allies with the PTI and will continue supporting the Prime Minister”, he stated refuting all rumours to the contrary.

The ruling alliance in Punjab Assembly has 196 members as against 173 of the joint Opposition.