Washington (PTI): Indian-American Republican presidential aspirant Vivek Ramaswamy has infuriated his Republican primary rivals when he said that he will not back Ukraine in its war against Russia, aligning himself with former president Donald Trump who wants to abandon critical support of Kyiv.

"We have to level with the American people on this issue," the 38-year-old multimillionaire biotech entrepreneur said.

"Just because (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is an evil dictator does not mean that Ukraine is good. This is a country that has banned 11 opposition parties, that has actually...," Ramaswamy said during the second Republican presidential primary at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, on Wednesday.

Ramaswamy's isolationist tilt drew major blowback from former vice president Mike Pence, former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.

Haley, who is also of Indian origin, was the first to jump in and oppose such a move by Ramaswamy.

"A win for Russia is a win for China," she said.

Ramaswamy disagreed.

"China is the real enemy. We are driving Russia further into China's arms. We need a reasonable peace plan to end this, this is a country whose president just last week was hailing a Nazi in his own ranks," he said.

Pence joined Haley in slamming Ramaswamy for his comments.

"Vivek, if you let Putin have Ukraine, that's a green light to China to take Taiwan. Peace comes through strength," he said. "We need a reasonable plan to peace. We need a reasonable plan to peace," Ramaswamy responded.

Christie too slammed Ramaswamy.

"The Chinese are paying for the Russian war in Ukraine. The Iranians are supplying more sophisticated weapons, and so are the North Koreans now as well, with the encouragement of the Chinese," he said.

"The naivete on this stage from some of these folks is extraordinary," Christie said.

"Look, I understand people want to go and talk to Putin. Guess what? So did George W. Bush. So did Barack Obama. So did Donald Trump. And so did Joe Biden, when he said a small invasion wouldn't be so bad. Every one of them has been wrong," he said.

"The fact of the matter is, we need to say right now that the Chinese-Russian alliance is something we have to fight against. And we are not going to solve it by going over and cuddling up to Vladimir Putin. Look, Donald Trump said Vladimir Putin was brilliant and a great leader. This is the person who is murdering people in his own country. And now, not having enough blood, he's now going to Ukraine to murder innocent civilians and kidnap 20,000 children," he said.

"And let me tell you, if you think that's where it's going to stop, if we give him any of Ukraine, next will be Poland," Christie said.

In an email to his supporters after the debate, Ramaswamy said that he was once again the number one target of his fellow Republican candidates.

"Nikki Haley said she felt "dumber" when I spoke. Tim Scott came after my business record. Ron DeSantis' Super PAC wouldn't stop tweeting about me. While they launched their attacks on my platform last night, I focused on the Truth," he said.

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New Delhi, Dec 11: The Centre on Monday defended the change in the National Medical Commission's logo to feature Dhanwantari -- the physicians of the Gods in Hindu mythology -- instead of a secular emblem, saying it was part of India's heritage and everyone must feel proud of it.

When the TMC's Santanu Sen raised the issue of the change in the logo through a Zero Hour mention in the Rajya Sabha, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said Dhanwantari is a symbol of Indian medical science.

"(It was) already a part of the (Commission's) logo and just some colour has been added and nothing more," he said.

"This is India's heritage. I feel we should feel proud (about it)," he added.

The minister said the logo is designed by taking inspiration from the country's heritage.

"This is a symbol of medical science ... someone who had done so much research in medical science. We have used the photo with no other intention."

The Medical Council of India (MCI) logo was adopted in 1934 after the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, was enacted.

The law defined medicine as "modern scientific medicine and includes surgery and obstetrics" and the logo used was based on the international symbol for medicine -- the staff of Aesclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing.

The logo also featured a snake wound around the staff.

While there has been no official announcement of a change in the Commission's logo, a black and white logo with the depiction of Dhanwantari at the centre reportedly appeared in December 2022. The colourised version appeared a couple of months later.

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Sen demanded the restoration of the National Medical Commission's previous logo.

He said the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956 was repealed in 2020 despite objections from different corners of society and the medical fraternity.

"The National Medical Commission came into force from 25th September 2020, repealing the 64-year-old Indian Medical Council Act, 1956," he added.

Earlier it was termed as "western medicine", then it became "medicine" and finally it was termed as "modern medicine", Sen said and added that the logo of modern medicine is the staff of Aesclepius.

"And there was no need and there was no permissible condition, so far as the National Medical Commission is concerned, that this logo can be changed. But, unfortunately, we have seen in the recent past, I don't know (if it is) because of government instruction or by the National Medical Commission itself, they have changed the logo and they have brought a photograph of Dhanwantari in the logo," Sen said.

The "change of logo was absolutely not needed. It symbolises one particular religion," he added.

The National Medical Commission, he said, regulates medical curriculum and sanctions new medical colleges.

"Its function is not to promote any particular religion. Even the Ayush department did not change its logo but the National Medical Commission has," the TMC MP said.

"It is against the basic oath which doctors take after passing MBBS. They take the oath that we will treat each and every patient irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. We are not bound to treat one particular religion," he said.

The change of logo, he said, was against the basic essence of the Indian Constitution which, through Article 25 and 26 after the 42nd Amendment in 1976, states that India is a secular country.

"And we should promote the dovetailing of religion," Sen said and demanded that the National Medical Commission immediately restore the previous logo that did not symbolise any particular religion.