Mumbai, Sep 16 (PTI) Former Maharashtra minister and BJP leader Sanjay Kute on Thursday launched an indefinite sit-in protest at the Mantralaya here to protest against the "non-payment" of crop insurance by companies to farmers.

Mantralaya is the administrative headquarters of the state in south Mumbai, where the offices of all ministers and secretaries are located.

Speaking to reporters, Kute said, "For the last seven months, the crop insurance companies have not paid the sanctioned Rs 65 crore to the farmers, who have lost their crops due to natural calamities, and although its assessment was also completed properly." "The insurance companies are not making payment to farmers, who have made several requests to the state government to issue directives to these firms. The state government has completely ignored the farmers' requests," he alleged.

Kute represents Jamod assembly constituency in Jalgaon district of North Maharashtra.

He alleged that the state government and the insurance companies were pointing fingers at each other over the issue.

"We have been told by the insurance companies that the state government had not paid them some dues in the past, which is why they cannot make payment to farmers for their crop losses. This is outrageous. Farmers should not suffer because of the clashes between the state and crop insurance companies," he said.

"We will not leave the Mantralaya till our demands are met. The assessment amount has been fixed by the state and the crop insurance companies at Rs 65 crore, but the amount has to be paid to farmers," said the legislator.