New Delhi: Farmer protests in Karnataka, demanding Cauvery and Hemavati waters to canals for saving standing crops entered its fifth day on Tuesday.

The Minister of Irrigation in Karnataka cabinet, D K Shivakumar was halted by the farmers protesting in Mandya, Karnataka to lay down their demands before him. To their surprise, the cabinet member replied saying, “Nothing is in our hand, MGMT is handling water issue and I will speak to them.”

The protest has been organised by the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS). The farmers have been staging an indefinite sit-in demanding the government to release water from the Cauvery basin to their paddy fields. Slogans are being raised over concerns of rising farmer suicides in the state.

Earlier on Monday, reacting to the protests Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said, “The Central Government has constituted Cauvery Water Management Authority(CWMA), the authority has directed the Karnataka government to release 9 TMC of water to Tamil Nadu.”

“Even in Bengaluru and several villages, there is a problem of drinking water. The Central Government has to give a direction to the authority (CWMA), it’s not in my hands,” he had added.

The Chief Minister’s comment followed after his meeting with the kin of a farmer in Mandya village who allegedly committed suicide due to mounting loans and water shortage in the local water bodies surrounding their paddy fields.