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I have below code in view file - menu.php: (lines reduced for ease of checking..)
<h3>ABC Fruits</h3>
<div id="Startup">

<ul class="" id="">
            <ul><li><a href="localhost:8015/citest3/index.php/soft1/sell">sell</a></li></ul>
            <ul><li><a href="localhost:8015/citest3/index.php/soft1/buy">buy</a></li></ul>


And below Code in Controller - Soft1.php file:
defined('BASEPATH') OR exit('No direct script access allowed');

class Soft1 extends CI_Controller {

public function index()
    public function sell()
            echo "Sales Done";
    public function buy()
            echo "Purchase Done";

I get a menu as per attachment when I run the code. But when I click on menu option I expect the respective function (method) in the controller to run. (for eg: if I click on sell - the sell method in controller should run & "Sales Done" should get displayed). But it is not responding. But if I put "" it goes there. Also, when I copy the "localhost:8015/citest3/index.php/soft1/buy" on browser it works! 

But it is not working when I click on the menu item.

What could be the problem? please suggest a solution.
You should be using CodeIgniter's base_url() it should have been setup in ./application/config/config.php
with an ending slash /.

The base_url should point to your document root or where your index.php file is.

You links would then look like this:

PHP Code:
       <a href="<?= base_url('soft1/sell');?>">sell</a>
You could also add "http://" to the beginning ot the href, to make sure it isn't treated as a relative URI.
You didn't say where your link does lead, just that it doesn't go to the right place.