Panaji: In a candid admission, Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said he was "shivering" on his first in office as Defence Minister, though he tried to put up a brave face.
"When I went to Delhi, I took experience of that city. I became Defence Minister with the blessings of you all. I did not know anything," Parrikar said, addressing a 'Vijay Sankalp' rally at Sanvordem constituency on Saturday.
"Let me admit, I was shivering on the first day (of taking charge). I put up a brave face banking on my experience, but in reality I didn't even have knowledge about the rank of military officers," he said.
Parrikar was chief minister of Goa before his induction into the Union Cabinet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Goa's brush with the military was during 1961 when Indian Army liberated the state from Portuguese rule. After that, we saw 1965 and 1971 wars. During the Kargil war, I have given slogans but in reality, I was unaware about what is war and what is the preparedness required for that," he said.
The minister said he realised that "armament stores are empty and government had tied hands of the soldiers. I did nothing much for last two years but told the army that if anyone attacks, you are free to retaliate."
"You have noticed the impact of this liberty. Whenever there was attack on us, our brave soldiers have retaliated strongly. Whether it be the surgical strike (in PoK) or firing at the line of border, Army has responded strongly, forcing the enemy to plead for peace. During the last four days, there has been no firing on the border."
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Updated Date: Nov 28, 2016 08:27:49 IST