Panaji: Former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was handpicked as Defence Minister by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today said taking over the key portfolio was nothing less than an adventure for him and it took him three months to get familiar with ranks in the armed forces.
“My adventure was to be the Indian Defence Minister. From being a Chief Minister to becoming the Defence minister, is like an adventure only,” Parrikar told a gathering here at the launch of ‘Adventure', a tri-monthly magazine.
Parrikar, who was inducted into the Modi cabinet in November last year, said “I did not know the ranks of the army. Actually for me, understanding the hierarchy itself was a problem. I took three months to understand which officer is on which level.”
“I had no background about the defence forces though I had technical knowledge...I know what are the types of armanents and the latest technology used by the army,” he said.
Parrikar said he gave up “unwanted” protocols, which were offered to him as the Defence Minister.
“After becoming the Defence Minister, whenever I used to come to Goa, the officials of Army, Indian Navy and others were standing at the airport to receive me. It is a protocol. I had to issue a formal order to them asking them not to receive me in Goa and Mumbai,” he said.
The senior BJP leader further said that although discipline was an issue with the Goans, it did not mean they are indisciplined.
“We (Goans) don't brag about discipline...In the army, discipline is a must,” the minister said.