THE Defence Ministry is today in such a state that it cannot afford a non-performing minister like AK Antony. In fact, the Defence Minister was more in the news on account of his honesty and simplicity than for his competence in the delivery mechanism. All eyes are now on the new Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar. The new minister comes dressed in a plain shirt, trousers and chappals. When he moves out of his office, nobody comes to know. Parrikar does not use a car to move from South Block to North Block; he generally walks down to meet his predecessor, Arun Jaitley. He starts giving appointments from 6 am onwards and reaches the office at 8.30 am. To function smoothly, he has brought in his old trusted bureaucrat, P Krishnamurthy, as his Private Secretary. Krishnamurthy has been attached to Parrikar since his first stint as Chief Minister of Goa. The grapevine has it that Parrikar was not interested in joining the Defence Ministry though he had been earlier asked twice by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But he could not refuse when Modi asked yet again. He realised that the Prime Minister needed him in Delhi to galvanise and manage the infamous defence sector. Now the players in the sector are closely watching Parrikar to see whether he will be able to deliver or will be ejected like Antony who did more harm than good by just bearing the honesty tag.